Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God Posts

“(Jesus said) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you…I am coming to you now…so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”  (Read John 17)

Friends are about to set off for a cross-country journey and I say, “I’ll be praying that have a good trip.”  Our friend responds, “Oh, don’t worry. We always have a good trip. After all, God wants to keep his children happy.

As the door closes and they leave our presence, his words lay heavy on my heart. Is it true? Does “God want to keep his children happy”? Modern dictionaries define a happy person as one who is fortunate or successful. In the Bible, however, when the word happy is used, it primarily means blessed as in Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,” etc. This gives a nuance to the word that we do not usually consider.

Did the Apostle Paul pray for our interpretation of happiness for his friends, many of whom were suffering? “I keep asking God…to give you wisdom…so you may know him better.” And “This is my prayer: that your love may abound…” And “…we have not stopped praying, asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will…”

If I am not happy, has God removed his hand of blessing and protection? Carol is slowly recovering from deep grief after her husband’s long and painful battle with cancer and subsequent death. She smiles – but through tears. Happy? No, but at peace.

Terry is making slow but steady progress after long and dangerous surgery. Her pain has been unimaginable. Did God fail his promises? Is he punishing her? Others would not call her situation happy, but she is deeply aware of God’s presence and love.

Simone Weil wrote,

Joy is the sweetness of contact with the love of God.”

Dear friend, God has far deeper purposes in our lives than happiness. Jesus promised to leave us his peace and joy. Nothing less.

Father, I am so very tempted to look for fleeting happiness as evidence of your presence. But then I look at Jesus’ life and see one sure of your love, your acceptance and your plan for his life. And he was blessed. May I walk in that same kind of blessing.

by Marilyn Ehle
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

• What God Already Gave – JOY – by Bethany Hayes

You Can Have Joy – by John Grant

Maintaining Joy – by Charles Stanley

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Read Contentment by Richard Swen

…I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11b-13

Where I live October is a transition month. By October summer is all put away. The lawnmower sits idle in the shed, and deck chairs lean against the back of the house. Annual flowers once in full bloom now rot in compost piles, the wooden window boxes from which they came are empty, dusty, and gray. The garden hose is safely away where winter frost cannot freeze remaining water to bulge and crack its lining. Where I live October marks the time when maples once afire with reds and oranges begin looking skeleton, their stick bones arching into grey skies. Mornings turn cold, and you are happy to see the sun for half a day and rarely full-on warm. Geese cruise south in misshapen V’s, and somewhere up river salmon die by the millions after spawning. October is when we lessen outdoor activities and start trying to keep warm and dry. The morning mist and low clouds can get to you. In October the change from fun and sun to glum highlights the difference between happiness and joy of spirit. I have heard that the difference between the two is their source. Happiness derives from external things like merry-go-rounds, ice cream, and walks on the beach, while joy comes from an inner contentment from being known and loved.

Do you know that God loves you? That he yearns for you to invite him more deeply into your life? That he hopes to be your strength and contentment when seasons change?

Help me Lord to rest in your provision, that you know and love and care for me deeply. Help me open my life to you so I may know your joy more fully. Amen.

TODAY:  Thank God that despite the change of seasons His love for you is everlasting

By Dr. Bill Strom
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

• Secret of Contentment – by Phil Ware

Contentment – by Idelette McVicker

Peace and Contentment – A Poem to God by Margaret Mullings


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